Pierce Brosnan’s Best Acting Performances

Iconic Roles is a look at some of the best performances in film and television by actors and actresses.

Thanks to his charming personality and undeniable charisma, Pierce Brosnan is one of the most recognizable names in Hollywood. The 69-year-old Irish-American actor has enjoyed a grand career of over 40 years after making his feature movie debut in The Long Good Friday in 1980. Fans will be able to see Pierce Brosnan’s latest performance as Kent Nelson, better known as Dr. Fate, in Black Adam starting Friday, October 21.

Here is a list of Pierce Brosnan’s best acting performances.

Stuart Dunmeyer in Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

Chris Columbus directed a very heartfelt story of a father who has to put on a prosthetic mask and assume the identity of Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire to stay with his children. It’s undeniable that the MVP of this movie was Robin Williams, who managed to make audiences believe that he really was Mrs. Doubtfire. However, a plot needs a great bad guy to make the good guy stand out, and Brosnan put on an excellent performance as the obnoxious Stu. The film took home the Oscar for best makeup at the 66th Academy Awards.

James Bond in GoldenEye (1995)

The most iconic role in Brosnan’s career almost never materialized, as the production had initially cast Timothy Dalton. After Dalton stepped down, Brosnan was called to portray the deadly British agent. Directed by Martin Campbell, the story follows Bond taking on a crime syndicate that wants to acquire a satellite weapon to dominate the world. The seventeenth movie in the Bond series is still considered by many one of the best Bond movies ever. It grossed over $350 million worldwide, leading Brosnan to reprise his role as 007 for three more installments before leaving the role to Daniel Craig. His last foray as Bond, Die Another Day, was the highest-grossing film in the franchise up to that time. The cast also featured Sean Bean, Izabella Scorupco, Famke Janssen, and Joe Don Baker.

Thomas Crown in The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)

It wasn’t an easy task for Brosnan to follow in Steve McQueen’s footsteps as the billionaire art thief Thomas Crown. In the John McTiernan-directed remake of the film by the same name, Brosnan worked side-by-side with Rene Russo. The pair had great chemistry, living up to the performance delivered by McQueen and Faye Dunaway back in 1968. In the story, Crown steals a very precious painting, leading to a game of cat-and-mouse with NYPD Detective Michael McCann. The film was well-received by critics and fans alike and cemented Brosnan’s legacy as a charming heartbreaker.

Julian Noble in The Matador (2005)

Perhaps not the most well-known role in his career, but arguably one of Pierce Brosnan’s best acting performances nonetheless. Noble is a disillusioned hitman experiencing a mid-life crisis that is compromising his job. The Irish actor showed he had the skills to leave James Bond behind and add many nuances to a relatively static role. The cast of the Richard Shephard-directed film included Greg Kinnear, Hope Davis, and Philip Baker Hall. Brosnan even landed a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor for this role.

Sam Carmichael in Mamma Mia! (2008)

In 2008, Brosnan challenged himself by bringing his singing skills on stage as architect Sam Carmichael, one of the three possible fathers of Meryl Streep’s daughter in Mamma Mia!. Brosnan’s vocal performance of ABBA’s greatest hits wasn’t well received, but his acting made up for it, resulting in an unforgettable and lovable character. The ensemble cast featured Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Julie Walters, Dominic Cooper, Amanda Seyfried, and Christine Baranski. The highly-appreciated musical grossed over $600 million at the box office, overcoming its $52 million production budget. In 2018, the movie received a sequel in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, with Brosnan reprising the role of the charming architect.

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